I was looking for a place to meet up with an old friend for a beer and was intrigued by Stickmen's website so we decided to give it a try. Located right on the East side of the lake in Lake Oswego, in a historic building next door to the Lake Theatre Stickmen is a brewpub that features a full menu, but specializes in Japanese skewers called Yakitori.
To drink I went with a beer they call Big Honey - an Imperial Kölsch. Nice body, sweet without cloying, and the perfect amount of honey. At 7.1% ABV it packs a little punch without hitting you upside the head and is extremely smooth while being robust in the imperial tradition. If this is a reflection of their other brews I will be drinking here more often.
Stickmen specializes in Yakitori Skewers, skewers of meat and vegetables cooked over a very hot grill with specialty charcoal from Japan called Binchotan. The result is a wide range of flavors available sold by the individual skewer, allowing for lower costs and portion sizes.
Here is the variety I sampled:
Grilled pork belly: Highlight of great smoke, fat melts on your toungue, forming a sauce for the meat. The best of the skewers I tried, and the one worth a trip back for all by itself.
Chicken thighs: The chicken thighs had great flavor, hints of citrus and ginger lingered from the Tare sauce. The fattiness of the thighs made a great choice for this, as it kept the meat from drying out too much.
Sweet and Sour: Sweet without overpowering the salt and spice of the soy and seasoning, with the sour notes that you would expect from this classic flavor profile. Again thighs were used to keep them juicy and flavorful despite the quick fired preparation method.
lamb vovka: well spiced from marinade with cayenne, garlic, and onion in buttermilk. A little well done for my taste, but the flavor was great.
bacon wrapped cheese: smoky thin sliced bacon wrapped around mild swiss cheese. A classic flavor profile that is subtle yet perfect in this preparation.
In all I was very pleased with every part of the experience at Stickmen, and will be back for a full meal (and a Growler of Big Honey to go) soon.